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Oct 1, 2012 11:00am PDT
of japan. the airliner was on its way from new york to seoul. planes and ships from japan, the u.s., and the soviet union searched the waters for survivers but to no avail. all 269 passengers and crew were killed. incidents like this showed how the cold war could erupt into violent confrontation. on board the airliner was a young japanese man who hoped to become a jazz musician. nhk world's yukino koide interviewed his mother. ♪ >> reporter: a young man composed this piece about 30 years ago. makoto okai studied jazz in college at boston and he recorded this tune. he had just graduated and was returning to japan aboard the airliner. it would have been his first trip home in three years. makoto was 32 when he died. but his mother, hitoko, just can't accept that he's gone. >> i'm not convinced when people tell me my son has died. i've never seen his remains, so i can't be sure. there's nothing to confirm his death. i wonder if he may still be alive somewhere. >> she lost her husband 11 years ago. she lives on her own in a city in miyazaki prefecture. her only tears and anguish of t
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